The Levant News — President Alexander Lukashenko won a fifth term in office by a landslide on Sunday, but he said anything less than 80 percent of the vote would be a sign that his support was slipping.
While no reliable independent exit polls were conducted, the state sociology institute said its survey suggested Lukashenko would get 83 percent of the vote. The Belarusian opposition boycotted the election.
Lukashenko’s re-election five years ago led to mass protests and the imprisonment of leading opposition figures, but support for his 20-year-old regime has risen since he cast himself as a guarantor of stability in the face of an economic crisis and a pro-Russian separatist conflict in neighboring Ukraine.
On Friday, a European Union official said the EU may suspend its sanctions on Belarus.
Lukashenko said it would be a bad sign if he received fewer votes than during the last election in 2010, when he won 79.65 percent.
“That would mean that people were beginning to move away and were dissatisfied with some of my policies,” the 61-year-old president said after voting in Minsk, the Belarusian capital.
Source: ABC News